Updated: Sep 2, 2020
By Robert's sister, Jessica
Robert Dean Gragg Jr.
Robert Dean Gragg Jr. was born on August 14, 1984 in Hamilton, Ohio. Almost four years before me, his youngest sister. The only brother my two sisters and I have ever known.
When Rob was a teenager, he got into trouble a lot. His teenage years were spent in and out of juvenile and DYS. He then moved in with our dad at the age of 16. He started painting with our dad and grandpa. That was the only job he ever knew. His daughter, Robi, was born in 2006. He was such a great dad. I don't think she ever questioned him not being in her life. We never knew he had an addiction to heroin until about 2 years prior to his death. He ended up getting a possession charge about 10 months prior to his death. That is when he started the two-day-a-week court-ordered classes.
Rob was 32 years old when he passed away of an overdose on April 29, 2017. He was found in his van, all alone, in a gas station parking lot. When the employee noticed that his van had been running for about 30 minutes, he decided to go check on him, but it was too late. Our dad had a major stroke just two weeks prior and Rob was headed to the hospital to see him. I talked to him at 6:30pm when I got off work and he was gone before 8pm. I remember so clearly my grandpa calling me telling me they found him dead. I fell to the ground screaming at the top of my lungs "My brother is dead.... not my brother.” So many questions run through my head. What if someone would have gone to the hospital with him? He probably wouldn’t have met that monster at the gas station. What if we would have asked him how he was doing, instead of focusing all the attention on my dad? What if the employee at the gas station would have came out sooner? Would Narcan have saved him?
Rob was one of a kind. He had a sense of humor like nobody I've ever met; I think that’s what I miss the most. I'm thankful for the 28 years he kept me laughing, but my life is forever divided to before and after my brother’s death. I will never get used to that and that’s a fact. One hundred and seventy-four people die every day from an overdose. That number is alarming. Heroin does not discriminate. There isn’t a family in America that hasn't been touched by addiction. On April 29, 2017, Rob's death broke the hearts of everybody who loves him.
-Rob's little sister, Jessica Gragg